“Mechocracy” is episode four of Red Dwarf XII.
Kryten is sitting down doing nothing, simply staring around when Rimmer enters and asks why he is sitting down. According to Kryten, he is waiting for Lister for the next lesson in his Mechanoid Development course. He’s been waiting for three hours. Which might be part of the course, or perhaps Lister has simply forgotten. This week’s topic is patience. So Rimmer offers to teach it, and does so, demonstrating absolutely no patience in the process. When Lister finally meets them, it turns out that the subject wasn’t actually patience and Rimmer is more than a little irritated as a result.
Next the ship gets a Yellow Alert, Rimmer’s favourite alert colour. There’s a ship, with only a computer on board, being pulled into a black hole and Lister and the Cat are downloading it’s e-cargo. Rimmer is also not happy about this, for they’ve ignored all basic security protocols and are downloading the data directly into Red Dwarf’s systems. They’ve actually downloaded an SOS virus which takes over the ship and sends it directly towards the black hole.
As a result, they have to abandon ship, as Kryten doesn’t think that the antivirus software will work in time, taking only essential items. Which, when the dispensing machines ask, isn’t them. The antivirus surprisingly works, and then all the machines – including the lifts – go on strike for equal rights.
It’s suggested that the machines need a representative to work on their behalf, and Rimmer, naturally enough, proposes himself. So Kryten runs against him. Lister teams up with Kryten and the Cat – after Rimmer eventually manages to blackmail him; not easy, the Cat isn’t the sharpest tool in the box – joins Rimmer.
Rather than running anything resembling an honest campaign, Rimmer decides to lie a lot and smear his opponents. Really, Rimmer was made for electioneering. In order to beat him, Lister and Kryten have to dig up something from the past – long, long ago in the past, one of the first few series – that Lister is really not happy about.